Man tried to kidnap teenage girl as she jogged at Gloucestershire beauty spot

Robert Hall
Delivery driver Robert Hall has been jailed for five years and nine months. Credit: ITV News

A teenage girl has spoken of the moment she was grabbed by a would-be kidnapper as she jogged in a Cotswold beauty spot.

Delivery driver Robert Hall, 37, has been jailed for five years and nine months after admitting to a count of attempted kidnap at Gloucester Crown Court.

He said he was directed by ‘voices in his head,’ a claim the judge disagreed with.

The judge, Recorder James Waddington QC, said: “Your victim was weaker than you and I am sure that had she not escaped you would have gone on to commit a sexual assault."

The judge also said he believed Hall was high risk of serious harm to the general public, adding he had given the court "a ridiculous story that flies in the face of the evidence".

Speaking to ITV News West Country the victim – who cannot be named for legal reasons - described how she was running near Stroud in Gloucestershire on June 2 last year when she realised Hall was directly behind her.

He then grabbed her and tried to drag her into woods.

The girl said: "I’m always a bit nervous about anyone on my runs. When he grabbed my mouth, I was thinking it’s such a surreal nightmare and I was waiting for myself to wake up and it not be real,” she said.

The girl managed to scream, shout, fight him off and flee. She ran to safety and called the police and her parents.

The girl was in court to see Hall sentenced. She told ITV News: “I haven’t been on a run since June.

"I haven’t been able to stay at home alone or go an any walks or runs on my own.

"It’s quite frustrating as everyone else in my year is doing that normally."

The victim's mum said: “(She) is known at home and at school to be really sweet, kind-natured, sensitive and easy-going. Biddable.

"She’s a really sweet person. So to show that sudden strength of screaming and shouting and fighting and struggling and running, I can’t believe how brave she was.

“Because if you put yourself in her position and can imagine that man coming up behind and grabbing you by the mouth, I would be terrified.

"To be terrified but to act instinctively to get away rather than freeze or panic or let what happen happened, I couldn’t be prouder really.”

The teenage victim helped police to create an e-fit of the man. Credit: Gloucestershire Police

The victim provided an e-fit and description, and police were led to Hall through CCTV footage.

Det Insp Adam Stacey of Gloucestershire Police said: “The community came forward and they told us they had seen this man earlier that day. He was very distinctively dressed.

"It was a boiling hot day and he had a large hoodie on, large joggers, he was also wearing distinctive blue latex gloves.

"So, from those sighting earlier in the day we were able to link him to a car and that’s what led us to him."

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